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Mexico Expat Forum for Expats Living in Mexico Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas and covers an area of two million square kilometres. With the American Expat community in Mexico reported to be well over one million it is the largest population of Americans living abroad.

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Old 3rd August 2011, 07:00 PM
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I have Magic Jack in the US and even though I have heard they work in Mexico I have not heard if you need to have a US phone number and actually initiate it in the US. Can anyone tell me? With the discussion about internet radio now I think it might be able to be done in Mexico or might not. I have found a Radio Shack in SLP that can order one for us, they don't know the set up procedures either. My wife has a friend who recently moved to Oklahoma and likes to use it when in San Diego. I also would like to call my sister in Canada. I presume this is possibly a worn out subject, if so, sorry in advance. Any other cheap alternatives. We use Telmex internet.


Last edited by AlanMexicali; 3rd August 2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanMexicali
I have Magic Jack in the US and even though I have heard they work in Mexico I have not heard if you need to have a US phone number and actually initiate it in the US. Can anyone tell me? With the discussion about internet radio now I think it might be able to be done in Mexico or might not. I have found a Radio Shack in SLP that can order one for us, they don't know the set up procedures either. My wife has a friend who recently moved to Oklahoma and likes to use it when in San Diego. I also would like to call my sister in Canada. I presume this is possibly a worn out subject, if so, sorry in advance. Any other cheap alternatives. We use Telmex internet.
I have Magic Jack and it works great in Mexico, or anywhere you have a good Internet connection for that matter. Here's how I set mine up: you need to select a number. MJ asks you to select a place where you would like your number the first time you plug it in. I selected where I'm from in the U.S. And it gave me several available numbers from which to choose. I selected a number with a 703 area code, so my number is 703-xxx-xxxx. When I'm in Mexico and have it hooked up to my computer somewhere where I also have a good Internet connection (Telmex Internet has always worked) I can make a call to any number in the U.S. and Canada just by dialing the number. Similarly, anyone in the U.S. or Canada can call me simply by calling that 703-xxx-xxxx number I set up.

I've gone one step further which I really like, but it's not necessary. Normally, you speak and listen through your computer, but MJ allows you to attach a real telephone with a handset instead if you prefer, the you talk and listen like a normal telephone. Convenient at hotels, for example. But I bought and carry around a small cordless phone, like the ones most of us use at home. I can carry it around and make and receive calls that way. I really like that and the reception is terrific. I'm a PC guy, so I can work at my computer normally if I wish, and MJ is still on in the background.

You have to activate the external handset if you're using one, like I do, but that's easy. It's right on the MJ menu.

I'm very happy with mine and the way I have it set up.

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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:30 PM
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Well that is what I was hoping for. I also have a cordless phone connected and always have my PC on. My reception is also good. Here they want $440.00 pesos for one. I like the feature that when away they e-mail you a "Wav" file with any messages. Thanks


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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:37 PM
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I stick to Skype. I talk every day to several family/friends in the US and other countries for free, when they also use Skype. For those not using Skype, it only costs about 2 cents a minute to a landline or cellphone. For me, that might add up to $5 a year.

I only had to download the Skype program, and buy a cheap headset with a microphone and I could start calling. I used the US as my address with Skype, so US calls are cheap, but any calls inside MX are more expensive. I don't have many non-Skype people in MX to call.

If they are not there, there is an instant message line below and I can leave a message to give me a call later. We can also connect several family members at the same time in different locations and have a conference call for free.

The downside to me for MagicJack is having a telephone number that anyone can call me on. I didn't want that. If they want to reach me, they either need my permission to connect on Skype, or they will have to use e-mail. The telephone/Skype is for my convenience, not someone else's. :-)

Different strokes for different folks. All I know is that TelMex no longer gets any of my money.


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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:47 PM
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Default Thanks for the info.

Does Skype bill an account? Can you use a cordless phone. I feel $19.95/year is reasonable that Magic jack charges after the first year. If I am away from home can I get messages from them via e-mail or log on to a site to retrieve them? My US cell phone doesn't have a Mexico plan, I use my Telcel phone and pay almost $20.00pesos/minute incoming calls from the US and Canada, outgoing is about the same from Mexico I think. Some of my friends and family don't use computers in the US. nor my sister in Canada.


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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:48 PM
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I stick to Skype. I talk every day to several family/friends in the US and other countries for free, when they also use Skype. For those not using Skype, it only costs about 2 cents a minute to a landline or cellphone. For me, that might add up to $5 a year.

I only had to download the Skype program, and buy a cheap headset with a microphone and I could start calling. I used the US as my address with Skype, so US calls are cheap, but any calls inside MX are more expensive. I don't have many non-Skype people in MX to call.

If they are not there, there is an instant message line below and I can leave a message to give me a call later. We can also connect several family members at the same time in different locations and have a conference call for free.

The downside to me for MagicJack is having a telephone number that anyone can call me on. I didn't want that. If they want to reach me, they either need my permission to connect on Skype, or they will have to use e-mail. The telephone/Skype is for my convenience, not someone else's. :-)

Different strokes for different folks. All I know is that TelMex no longer gets any of my money.
I have used Skype for years and find it works fine on Telmex Infinitum internet. I like that it is free to download, free to call Skype to Skype, no contracts and cheap to use if the people you are calling do not have Skype. I use less than $10 a year in credit, even text messaging my wife´s TelCel phone.
I know times are tough for Mr. Slim so I don´t mind throwing him a few pesos.

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Old 3rd August 2011, 08:50 PM
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I like Skype too and use it from time to time. One of the limitations of Skype that you didn't mention is that if people want to call you, and they don't have Skype, it's a whole different story. People don't need MJ for me to a call them, and they don't need MJ for them to call me.

Each has it's place. Skype works for you and your needs and that's what counts.

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Originally Posted by GringoCArlos
I stick to Skype. I talk every day to several family/friends in the US and other countries for free, when they also use Skype. For those not using Skype, it only costs about 2 cents a minute to a landline or cellphone. For me, that might add up to $5 a year.

I only had to download the Skype program, and buy a cheap headset with a microphone and I could start calling. I used the US as my address with Skype, so US calls are cheap, but any calls inside MX are more expensive. I don't have many non-Skype people in MX to call.

If they are not there, there is an instant message line below and I can leave a message to give me a call later. We can also connect several family members at the same time in different locations and have a conference call for free.

The downside to me for MagicJack is having a telephone number that anyone can call me on. I didn't want that. If they want to reach me, they either need my permission to connect on Skype, or they will have to use e-mail. The telephone/Skype is for my convenience, not someone else's. :-)

Different strokes for different folks. All I know is that TelMex no longer gets any of my money.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 09:25 PM
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Lots of folks (maybe the majority?) up north now have a smartphone firmly in their grasp or in their ear if they're conscious. Skype can now be downloaded on a cellphone.

May be other reasons too. They might be too inept or too lazy to download Skype on their end. Part of becoming an expat is finding out who your real friends are, through the separation. I had one guy I had considered to be a close friend for 20 years. Last year, after he finally broke down and switched from dial up to broadband internet, I told him that if he just downloaded Skype at no cost, we could talk for free. His response? "It doesn't cost me anything to talk to you now." Some friend.

If you have a US number connected to MagicJack, do you receive any telemarketing calls on that number too?


Last edited by GringoCArlos; 3rd August 2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 09:43 PM
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...
May be other reasons too. They might be too inept or too lazy to download Skype on their end. Part of becoming an expat is finding out who your real friends are, through the separation. I had one guy I had considered to be a close friend for 20 years. Last year, after he finally broke down and switched from dial up to broadband internet, I told him that if he just downloaded Skype at no cost, we could talk for free. His response? "It doesn't cost me anything to talk to you now." Some friend. ...
I have the same experience. In my friend's case, I think it is is "too inept". I have also had people tell me they feel too weird talking to their computer. I have an iPod Touch (iPhone without the phone, just wifi) that I use, and using Skype with it feels just like using a phone. I can walk around while I talk.

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Old 3rd August 2011, 10:08 PM
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There are positives and negatives to both, other wise one would be going out of business. I happen to use MJ. We got it when we were in the states and now pay (after the initial download) about $17.00 US per year. We have no long distance charges (my wife talks to her sisters for hours -one is in Texas and another is in Mississippi). Our landlord is in Canada and we can call her without any long distance charges.

We get NO sales calls and NO telemarketing calls. We have Skype also but use it only for the web cam.

As I have said before, whatever floats your boat is what you should use. There is one problem though. You might have a problem trying to use MJ and Skype on the same computer. It seems that Skype used some recourses that MJ needs so MJ does not work along with Skype. (this is what Skype told me)

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